The Pillow Book of Sei Sh¯onagon, Translated [from the Japanese] and Edited by Ivan Morris Setting & Symbolism

Sei Shōnagon
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Gruel-stick

A gruel-stick is a stick that women carry around during the festival of the full-moon gruel. On this day, a bowl of gruel is presented to the Emperor. The women carry the gruel-sticks all day and use them to playfully hit other people. Shonagon describes this as very flirtatious, although she says that when women get hit with gruel-sticks, they often act like they're angry or hurt.

Palm-leaf Carriage

A palm-leaf carriage is a dignified mode of transportation, and Shonagon believes it should be driven slowly to emphasize its dignity. She is annoyed when she sees palm-leaf carriages moving quickly.

Wickerwork Carriage

A wickerwork carriage is less impressive than a palm-leaf carriage and arouses little interest. Therefore, Shonagon believes that wickerwork carriages should be driven quickly because she becomes bored if she has to watch one for very long.

Paper Fans

Paper fans are somewhat disposable, so...

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This section contains 338 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, Translated [from the Japanese] and Edited by Ivan Morris Study Guide
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